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Rating: 4 stars
Summary: Dru knows that The Real World - peopled with ghosts, suckers and zombies - is a frightening place. She's ready to kill first and ask questions later, so it's going to take her a while to work out just who she can trust.
Dru Anderson has been 'strange' for as long as she can remember, travelling from town to town with her father to hunt down things that go bump in the night. It's a weird life, but a good one - until in an icy, broken-down town, a hungry zombie bursts through her kitchen door. Dru is going to have to use every inch of her wit and training. Can she stay alive long enough to fall for one - or both - of the guys hungry for her affections?
The above summary sucks. It is the least spoilery one I could find (most give away the first half of the book). But it paints Dru in completely the wrong light. I mean, sure, she is capable of kicking ass - but she is not kick-ass. They made Dru sound like Rose from Vampire Academy - and she is so NOT ROSE.
A better summary? You know the show Supernatural? Well, imagine a less-cocky, teenage, girl!Dean - without the baby brother - hunting evil around the US with his Dad. There you have (at least the start) of Strange Angels.
Thoughts: Strange Angels is a really great addition to the YA Paranormal scene. Lili St. Crow paints a much more realistic picture of a teen living in an unreal world. Although absent, Dru's parents play a big role in her life - and both they (and her safety) trump whatever guy she is supposed to mooning after. Strange Angels is violent, tragic, and really enjoyable - although it does go downhill towards the end.
I loved the first half of this book. But in it, Dru is miserable - I mean, I'm-almost-an-alcoholic-teenager!miserable - and her world thoroughly sucks. Despite the temptation to just curl up and die, she is trying desperately to plough through the misery. It was amazing to read, even though it was utterly tragic. Really made me appreciate her strength. I also loved her inner Dad!voice. She would constantly think of what her Dad would say or do in a particular situation (which often involved killing things). It made me love the guy without ever spending that much time with him.
Graves, the first boy she meets in this book - well, he's ok. I haven't quite worked out if I really like him, but I do appreciate how much he helps Dru. Graves has had a really hard-knock life - hell, the guy is practically homeless - but has amazingly managed to keep his head above water. I'd like to find out even more about his background in Betrayals.
Mid-way through the book, we are introduced to Christophe. He is tough, scary and not-so-human... and yeah, I really liked him! But as soon as Christophe came into the picture, Dru started to edge into the too-stupid-to-live category. There was one particular scene where Dru refused to do something for no apparent reason. I mean, it shouldn't even have been an issue, but Dru decides it is the perfect reason to pitch a fit - and it completely blows up in her face. It was really frustrating, and I wanted to just reach through the book and shake her! (Although Graves I wanted to smack, as he agreed with her insanity.)
The last half? - maybe 3 stars. But the first half was just so great (well, actually it was miserable, but a great read) that I had to keep the rating up. I am looking forward to Betrayals and have a feeling Dru will straighten her head out a bit in that book... I am also looking forward to more Christophe!
Bottom Line? A great addition to the YA Paranormal Scene. If you are a fan of the Morganville series then this will be up your alley!
I read this for the Battle Royale New Author Mini-Challenge - Team Deadline Dames!